Before I write about the positive things that I experienced on April 7th, I want to write about illness in our family right now.
Paul's Dad, Burt Roberts, has fallen seriously ill with internal problems involving his pancreas, liver, and kidneys. I don't feel at liberty to say a lot more right now because I don't think a certain diagnosis has been made yet. Right now, there's a plan to put a stint in his liver to help it function better. As I learn more, I'll post more, but please hold Burt Roberts in your prayers.
Please do the same for Everett. At our Sunday family dinner, Everett was disoriented, confused, often repeating the same questions, sleepy, and very wobbly on his feet. Paul walked him home, next door, after dinner. Everett could not have made it on his own.
It's Monday morning, April 8th, as I write this report on Everett. Christy just drove him to the Emergency Room at Shoshone Medical Center. I will post more when Christy tells me what they find out and how they will proceed. I'll just add that Everett's condition has been up and down, day to day. He had a difficult day on Wednesday, but on Thursday, while Christy hosted friends for lunch, Everett went out with the dogs for couple of hours in his truck and did fine. Right now, he's struggling, possibly because of the reoccurence of mini-strokes. I'm about to head up to the ER to be another pair of ears with Christy.
1. Christy and Everett were up bright and early this morning to greet the arrival of their Sunday Spokesman Review. Christy knew that the paper was running a story about women in the Inland Northwest who have she sheds and that her she shed story was a part of the feature. At family dinner tonight, Christy brought her copy of the paper over and we got to see the picture the paper published of her shed and the story's profile of Christy, including why she has the shed and how it houses her aesthetic vision of life, the ways she uses the she shed, and her hopes and dreams for things to come.
I'm posting a link to the online edition of the story. It doesn't include the print edition's picture of Christy's she shed. It also contains one small error. Christy retired from teaching in Inchelium, not Spokane. I hope this link will live for at least a little while on the World Wide Web. To see it, click here.
2. Hosting family dinner is an all day task for me, even if the dinner I prepare is simple, so I stayed in Kellogg today, didn't drive to CdA for church.
I had fun making a buttermilk marinade for ten boneless chicken thighs and refrigerated the chicken all afternoon. I made cornbread muffins. I also augmented a cauliflower soup recipe into a cream of vegetable soup adding mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange mini-peppers, celery, and carrots. On the side, I made a soup thickener with butter, flour, milk, and grated cheese and added it to the soup after I had pureed it. I bought a bag of broccoli slaw to go with our dinner. I dipped the buttermilk marinated chicken into flour and fried thighs until almost done and then put them in the oven at a low heat to finish cooking and stay warm.
When Christy, Everett, Carol, and Paul arrived, I had a Dark and Stormy ready for each of them: dark rum, ginger beer, and a lime wedge over ice.
It's not really the cooking, per se, that takes so much time. For me, it's the cleaning up. Since I serve dinner on the dining table in the kitchen, I like to have the kitchen looking half way decent when family sits down to dinner and I like to have the living room vacuumed.
I'm slow in the kitchen preparing food.
I vacuum slowly.
I'm a slow kitchen cleaner upper.
Usually, we have family dinner at 6:00. Around 5:30, I texted Christy and Carol to wait until 6:30 to come over -- and, even then, I didn't quite have the table set.
As Everett would say, "Oh, well!"
3. Something else slowed me down, though, and I loved it.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Baylor Lady Bears played for the NCAA national championship at three o'clock this afternoon.
For the first nearly three quarters, Baylor had the upper hand. At times, they were almost dominant. Notre Dame, like every team Baylor has played, couldn't consistently stop Baylor's strong players in the high and low post, Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown. Adding further complication to Notre Dame's defense was the play of Baylor's guard, Chloe Jackson, who scored 26 points. Moreover, again, like every team Baylor has played, Notre Dame was frustrated by the Baylor defense. Baylor's team has a lot of size -- or as the experts say, so accurately, a lot of length -- and their perimeter players are quick on the feet defensively.
But, with 1:22 left in the third quarter, Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown's feet got tangled up under Notre Dame's basket. They fell and Cox, it appeared, tore up her knee. The sell out crowd fell silent. Lauren Cox couldn't walk. She left the court in a wheelchair.
I love to watch sporting competition. I hate injuries (so much so, by the way, that I've quit watching football).
Notre Dame charged back in the fourth quarter, but, Cox's replacement, freshman NaLyssa Smith played fearlessly. She ended up scoring 14 points. She had filled in for Kalani Brown earlier in the game when one of Brown's calves cramped up and played the entire fourth quarter in place of Cox, and, miraculously, did almost as much as a scorer and rebounder as Cox probably would have done.
But, Baylor really missed Cox on the defensive end.
And, so, having been behind by 17 points in the second quarter and still down by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter, Notre Dame persisted. The Irish went ahead midway through the fourth quarter and the two teams exchanged leads or were tied several times. With 17 seconds left, Notre Dame's Jessica Shepard tied the game with two free throws. Coming out of a timeout, Chloe Jackson, just as she had done in the closing seconds on Friday night against Oregon, drove to the cup, the Irish's defense got their wires crossed, and Jackson converted the layup.
Baylor was up by two.
Now, please remember, that one year ago, Arike Ogunbowale hit a last second shot at the buzzer in two straight games, the semi-final and final, to catapult Notre Dame to last year's national title.
With two seconds left in this game, she rose for a jumper that would tie Baylor. The shot missed, but Ogunbowale got fouled.
She went to the free throw line to shoot two charity tosses that could tie this game.
Her first shot, cruelly, spun out of the hoop.
Ogunbowale had to miss her her second shot on purpose and hope that Notre Dame could snare the rebound and score on a put back.
Ogunbowale tried to miss -- and failed. Against her will, she made the second free throw.
Baylor, with a little drama, ate up the game's last two seconds and won the game and the national championship, 82-81.
This was an emotionally and competitively riveting basketball game, as full of drama, heartbreak, joy, and skilled play as any game I've ever watched.